Prosecutors and the Death Penalty
This chapter describes the link between prosecutors and the death penalty. It starts by presenting how prosecutors control the death penalty. The Death Penalty Information Center's study exposing and criticizing the dearth of African American chief prosecutors suggests that if there were more chief prosecutors of color, there might be less racial inequality in the implementation of the death penalty. Ironically, one chief African American district attorney was removed from a case when he did not immediately seek the death penalty. Two cases that illustrate the possibilities when the public is informed about the significant decisions prosecutors make are reported. In general, accountability through transparency might enhance the prosecutor's troubling role in the implementation of the death penalty, but it would not repair it entirely.
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